Archive for the ‘Licensing’ Category

Free Training, Labs, Videos and more from Microsoft, VMware and @TrainSignal!

January 28th, 2013

From 2001 until 2006 I would regularly do presentations on OMG THERE’S FREE TRAINING OUT THERE WHY AREN’T YOU USING IT. Which even culminated in the release of a Technical Offerings training deck as noted in this blog post I published in 2006 (Yes, Seriously, in 2006) Well, guess what. A lot of that data is STILL highly relevant even today! So… Let’s get started! :)

Training Videos

Microsoft

Kicking off the realm of training videos I’d like to highlight our good friends at Microsoft with their release of the Microsoft Virtual Academy!

Microsoft Virtual Academy - Learn about Windows 8

The MVA has a LOAD and I mean a serious LOAD of information, from Training Videos, Courses, Tutorials, Walkthroughs, even Tests and points and contests to increase not only the ‘fun factor’ but provide additional context in your education.   For those of you VMwarriors out there who will discard this and say BLAH, SHOW ME THE VMware STUFF.   I even did a little search for VMware in the “Quick Search” button and lo and behold lookie at the results!

Microsoft gets serious with VMware Virtualization solutions in Microsoft Virtual Academy 

So whether you are a rockstar, a seasoned professional or someone looking to get started and want to know where to get some good and valuable information without spending hours and $$$ in a classroom, this is definitely an excellent way to get started, so jump on in!

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE FROM MICROSOFT?!?!

I know some of you are fighting the constant battle of “Damnit, can I attend Microsoft TechEd or not…” And with TechEd 2013 going to be in New Orleans I cannot blame you in the LEAST! But for those of you who just truly cannot find the time, the ability and are able to get away… something you should know.

ALL MICROSOFT TECHED CONTENT IS AVAILABLE FREE WHETHER YOU ATTEND OR NOT.

Yea. Seriously. It is.  It actually has been for like the last… Oh I don’t know… since 2004 I believe? And all of that past-content since they started posting and making it available online has been posted online.   For some reason I’m only able to find the 2012 content and the 2011 Archive but who really needs access to material on product versions which may not even exist or are supported anymore, if you truly need that let me know and I’ll find the link!

The Microsoft TechEd 2012 Content Catalog (and prior) are freeeeeeee!

TrainSignal

A lot of you are familiar with TrainSignal and the loads of great content they create, produce and respectively sell out there (You can get access to their paid training video series and content on their website, Trainsignal.com)  But when I reached out to their President asking, “Hey, you have any freeeeeee stuff!?!?!?” He pointed me over by here!  So here is a whole bunch of videos freeeeeeeeeeeee of charge!  And of course, don’t hesitate to check out the amazing content produced by the likes of Scott Lowe and David Davis and others!

OMG TrainSignal does Free Training Videos too?! Available on Youtube? Booyah!

Ya know… as an example here! :)

That should get you going on quite a load of stuff from Microsoft, to VMware, to Citrix and Cisco and beyond!   But let’s drill down a bit into VMware now…

VMware

When it comes to VMware there are loads and loads (and loads) of information in the world, and often we never really know where to start… Well, here is a place to start and it’s home is in YouTube!

OMG VMware has a LOT of Channels on YouTube!

Yea, that’s lame right? I mean on YouTube there’s like a dozen channels?!?! Well, there are. Just go and use them. BAM, and BOOYAH.

VMworld Presentations are FREE TOO LIKE TECHED?!?!?

Well, no. Not exactly. Sorry!   Although this last year VMUG Advantage did have a brief offer for free access to the VMworld content if you signed up for that…  I’m unable to find any data on it at the moment, so that may have expired, but it’s still worth checking out!

SHOW ME THE LABS BABY!

You asked for Labs and here they are! More labs than you can shake a stick at!

This picture 'borrowed' from http://wildlifeinthewoods.blogspot.com !

Err, okay, maybe that was a little too literal!   Let’s get on with our labs though!

FREE Hands On Labs from Microsoft!

The thing about Microsoft is… for 8+ years they’ve had FREE access to all of their products in a Try-Before-You-Buy model where you can DOWNLOAD any Product and play with it (okay, seriously that’s been around for going on 20 years) but they also instituted the Hands On Labs where the lab environments would BUILD themselves, provide you with a Lab guide to follow (or ignore) and learn and play with it that way.   Not to mention all of the content they’d have in the Hands on Labs at TechEd would be POSTED and made available for you to go in and learn, explore and beyond!

This isn’t something new, it’s been around FOREVER, Here are links to where you can access it (as it’s actually available in several places).

Disclaimer: When I wanted to test something out, I’d spin up a lab which was designed to ‘best practice’ and go in and do whatever I wanted, I mean it was a lab environment available in minutes. Why not? 

Interesting Fact, some of the types of labs and solutions available out there which you can play and learn from:

  • How to setup a product from scratch, like Sharepoint, Microsoft Exchange, SQL
  • How to MIGRATE a product from one version to another (like those products mentioned above and more)
  • How to Develop in a language like C#, Visual Studio, Azure, PowerShell and more
  • How to do other advanced types of things
  • Alllllllllllll the labs that were available at TechEd, so you know what that means… and if not, check it out!
  • You can find TechEd Labs in the Additional Content section here with this Microsoft TechEd Virtual Labs flask icon next to it!
  • Here at the MSEvents site there are a number of Virtual Labs on the “Virtual Labs” tab to choose and play from!
  • At the TechNet Virtual Labs site you can dive a little deeper on more Microsoft Technologies…
  • Looking to dive even deeper, the MSDN Virtual Labs site will take you there.

So if for a minute you thought this was going to be easy, or a single click site with all the answers. HAH.

FREE HANDS ON LABS FROM VMware?!??!

Well, not exactly.. I mean, sort of, kind of… but, well, let me explain.   VMware recently announced “Project Nee” my dear friend Simon Seagrave talks about about it here at his blog.  But ultimately, what Project Nee is intended to be is… VMware Hands On Labs publicly available online.  However it is still in Beta at the moment.   You can follow details of the VMware Hands On Labs by going here to the VMware Hands On Labs community!

 

Some additional places not even mentioned but you should check out, and all of the cited links for easy access and consumption:

 

So hopefully those of you out there who are looking to stay relevant, continue educating yourselves, maybe even heading down the certification track and whatnot will find this of benefit.   I won’t lie to you, I’ve used these resources countless times over the years and I encourage others to.   If you have any other sites to suggest, toss em into the comment section… This is an epic resources to reference from here until well.. until I write another one ;)

Educate and Enjoy!

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Posted in .NET, Careers, Certification, Cloud, Education, Evangelist, Exchange, Free, Hyper-V, Informational, Licensing, MCT, Microsoft, Sharepoint, SQL, TechEd, Technology, Virtualization, vmware, VMworld, Windows Server | Comments (6)

8 Yr old MCP beats out previous 10 Yr old MCP! The Horror!

December 24th, 2008

Firstly, a hearty congratulations to the 8 Year old (and 1 day) Lavina Shree who recently completed her MCP Exam in C#.

[NDTV via NewLaunches]

She has made quite an accomplishment for defeating the previous title holder Arfa Karim from Pakistan who was 10 Years old at the time she completed her MCP exam in 2005.

Apparently, she is 8 years old, and not 9 years old as some of the stories report (Her own website reports this)

Okay, time for the Therapy Faq on this.

Q: Should I feel bad about myself and my own certifications?

A:  No, why should you feel bad?   If you had a photographic memory and were 8 years old, wouldn’t you be able to find the time to study just a bit? I mean, outside of your regular 80 hour workweek fixing networks or dealing with your significant other, I’m sure you’d be able to find a few minutes to study for an exam, right?

Q:  What? But seriously, she’s 8 years old! Not even 9 years old like the other reports are saying!

A:  Wait, you’re right.    I forgot these exams aren’t based upon sole memorization and require you to have to think about extremely bound concepts the likes of which cannot exist in books.   I mean when I go into the Oracle to take the exam, it analyzes what I have in my brain and then starts providing dynamic questions the likes of which noone could ever hold challenge to.

Q: Does this happening make the Certification process at all less valuable?

A: Absolutely not.   That same analysis could be said of the Bar Exam, SAT’s or GRE’s.    Some people are extremely good at certain things (say, memorization) but that is not to say that they know everything there is, only what they’ve read.   So, while you can know the ‘answer’ to a defined question, if provided with a question outside the context of original discussion that shows your true ability to innovate and provide a solution.   If I want someone to be able to recite back to me verbatim a fixed question/answer, I’d get Wikipedia or something.

Q: So you’re saying I should feel good for this girl, and not feel bad about myself?

A: Exactly.  I think it is great, prior to this a lot of people didn’t even realize there was such a thing as the MCP.  Now perhaps some may feel this is bad PR, but any PR is better than none, and this will pass.    Especially when a girl who is cited as having performed feats of memorization at age 3? No, this will definitely do wonders for the Certification community and help to improve the process as a whole for years to come.   We’ve been watching it come for the past several years as tests have improved to be more relevant, and this will be no different.

Good luck out there, get ready for a whole new Certification year! And I look forward to the new innovative Betas as you should!

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Posted in Baltimization, Blog, Certification, Christopher Kusek, Geek, Informational, Licensing, Microsoft, Technology | Comments (0)

Outlook is no longer part of the Exchange CAL!

January 19th, 2007

While reading about some of the new changes to licensing with 2007/Vista, etc I came across this incredible mention.

I mention it very specifically as I have an entry farther down exclaiming that in 2003, Outlook is tied to your Exchange licensing. That however is no longer the case. While certainly you can get around this with having your CORE Cal’s for Office, or the Enterprise desktop, this will mean some changes of experience or interpretation from the licensing stand point. So, with that said, the below is the ‘final’ word, or atleast published on VARBusiness. If I get additional links on this off of MS’s site, I shall include it there respectively.

10. The Open Value upgrade from Office Pro to Office Enterprise costs $70. Outlook is no longer part of the Exchange CAL.

VAR Business Article – http://tinyurl.com/2pk58k

Christopher Kusek

Posted in Exchange, Informational, Licensing, Microsoft | Comments (0)

On of the Greatest Misconceptions of Exchange Licensing in regards to Outlook.

February 9th, 2006

I talk to a lot of people at times during Exchange migrations, previous versions to more current versions. And one of the greatest misconceptions there has been, people thinking that the Outlook Client is dependant on their Office CAL’s.

Well, it does not.

So, here I am to set things straight once and for all (Or until licensing changes)
The Exchange Server 2003 user CAL is required for each user gaining access to the server and entitles access rights to both editions of Exchange Server. Each Exchange Server 2003 CAL also includes Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 or Microsoft Entourage 2004 for Mac and permits access from Microsoft Office Outlook Web Access, Outlook Mobile Access, Exchange ActiveSync, or any standard Internet-messaging client.

Pricing and Licensing for Enterprise Organizations (For Exchange)
http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/howtobuy/enterprise.mspx

~ Christopher Kusek

Posted in Exchange, Informational, Licensing, Microsoft | Comments (0)

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